Coaching and Mentoring at Work: Developing Effective Practice

Coaching and Mentoring at Work: Developing Effective Practice

Coaching and Mentoring at Work: Developing Effective Practice

Coaching and Mentoring at Work: Developing Effective Practice

Excerpt

Why this book? Why now? For many years we have been involved in coaching and mentoring at work, both informally and in more structured settings. We have worked together, delivering training, for more than a decade. We could not find a book that addressed, practically, all of the aspects of coaching and mentoring at work that seemed important to us. Feedback from colleagues and participants was that they wanted a text which encapsulated the learning from training programmes and sustained them when they were on their own, back at work, trying to be effective coaches and mentors. So, we have written this book partly for them.

But we also wanted to have a voice. We noticed the ongoing debate about coaching versus mentoring, and in our everyday experience we found that these activities had much in common. Conversations with colleagues in both the public and private sector revealed that while terminology differs, there is considerable overlap in what many coaches and mentors actually do. So, this book seeks to identify the common ground, as well as to acknowledge the differences, and to explain the key principles that underpin both effective coaching and effective mentoring.

Another reason for writing this book was to answer some frequently-asked questions. Each chapter answers a specific question that might be asked by clients, coaches or mentors. We wanted to write a book that was accessible to busy people. A book that was full of practical examples and exercises, with ideas that could be used in everyday life and work.

Anyone who has tried to coach or mentor knows just how demanding the work can be. The notion that someone can be helped to help themselves, rather than being told or advised what to do, is a straightforward enough idea. It is not always easy to execute, and it is not commonplace. Spend a few minutes or hours listening to the conversations around you in the workplace, and you will see what we mean. Nevertheless, when we have experienced skilful coaching and mentoring from friends, colleagues and professionals, it has made a world of difference. So, we hope that this book will guide the reader in developing their skills and making a difference.

We are concerned about maintaining high standards in an emerging profession. The serendipity that has been prevalent in the provision of coaching and mentoring services is being rightly challenged by the current focus on competent, ethical and professional practice. In this book we aim to make the connection between ethical principles and everyday practice.

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